How to explain to your friends and family what a Prepper is without sounding nuts!

Hello, my friend and welcome back!  I know we have all had those awkward conversations with close friends or family members and sometimes it can be like explaining why you believe in God.  In today’s post, I want to offer a few tips and ideas to hopefully make it easier and not have them phoning to see if you escaped the loony bend.  Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.

Before I get started, let me take a minute to answer a question I get a lot.  Where does the grab a cup of coffee my friend come from?  It’s simple, my grandfather had an old table and some chairs on his front porch and anytime someone would come by he would get them a cup of coffee and they would sit around that old table and visit with each other.  I guess I heard that phrase “Grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit” a million times. They would talk and laugh and of course drink lots of coffee.  You didn’t even need to be a part of the conversation; just hearing them would make you feel good inside.

For me, it became a symbol of two friends visiting and talking with each other. I still practice it today on my own patio and I truly hope the tradition is carried on by my children.  There is just something special about it.  Well, I use the expression here because when I’m writing I imagine sitting at a table with an old friend, drinking coffee and visiting.  I hope it makes you feel as special as it did my grandfather’s friends.

OK, back to the subject at hand… Now you need to understand that if you just come out and say I’m a prepper and I’m preparing for the end of the world, they will look at you like you’re a mental patient.  No, you need to put it in terms they can understand and the simpler the better.  The truth is that the term Prepper is just used to describe anyone who practices Disaster Preparedness.  Heck in some Universities  these days you can get a degree in “Disaster Preparedness”.

Start out by telling them that you are a “Disaster Preparedness Specialist.”  That is something that most people can wrap their heads around.  Explain that you’re not preparing for the end of the world, but just simply preparing for whatever disaster comes along.

Most state and local Governments have Disaster Preparedness Specialist on their payroll. You can then go on to explain that the term Prepper is just a nickname for people who practice disaster preparedness.  It really is, if you think about it.  By storing up survival supplies, you are just preparing for whatever disaster comes along.  You may want to avoid telling them that you are worried that the Federal Government is going to collapse or go rogue just yet.

People like simple explanations that they can relate to.  If your area has had recent bad weather or flooding, then you may want to use that as an example for why you decided to learn more about it and start preparing for such disasters.  After all, people buy car insurance just in case something were to happen to their car.  So wouldn’t it just be common sense that they should prepare and be ready for natural disasters as well?

You can always use the question like, “If (Flood, Tornado, Hurricane) were to hit out of the blue, would they be prepared to make it through, in comfort or would they like to suffer like those who did not prepare?  It’s only common sense after all.  This should satisfy even the most staunch objector because it is something they can understand and get behind.  If not, then there is probably nothing you could ever say to get them to understand what you are doing.

Starting this weekend, I will have some “Disaster Preparedness Specialist” vinyl decals available in our store which is listed in the menu up above.  This is just an easy way to let other Preppers know that you are one while still painting a happy face on it for the unwashed hoards.   Now if you have any specific questions about bringing someone one on board with Prepping, just add it to the comments below or use our feedback page to send it to me and I will do my best to try to help answer your questions.

Before I wrap things up today, I want to encourage all of you to please send me an email or add to the comments of any post your thoughts about what subjects you would like to see covered here.  I really want to address the issues that are on your minds, so just let me know.

Well, I guess that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.  Until next time my friend, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared.  God Bless America!

-Sarge-

 

The Sgt.

Prepper, Patriot, and Proud U.S. ARMY Veteran.

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22 Responses

  1. Mary in mn says:

    When I read your coffee invitation I go and grab a cup and go to ‘listen’ to what you have for the day. It is the phrase that drew me in. Friendly. Thanks.
    Article was good too.

  2. David says:

    Isn’t it curious that that you even felt the need to explain yourself… From the very first time that I read your opening invitation to become a part of your world of thoughts and ideas, I was hooked. I believe in your direct and familiar approach to being an intimate part of the conversation as it is without pretense… you’re “The Sgt.” and already very much a part of my world. Reminds me of home… and home included lots of times of “tough love” and difficult life lessons learned.

    I applaud your word-smithing, as it is often the subtle approach that allows us to keep the conversation going in order to explain just who and what we are. My own family is much more comfortable referring to me as a “Disaster Preparedness Specialist” when they speak to their friends, who often refer to me in far less favorable terms (Nut Case is frequently used)! I often simply relate to my early days in Scouting and the motto “Be Prepared” as a defining life choice, which often opens doors. I have yet to find anyone who questions being prepared at some level, though most find false comfort in the misconception that somehow our government (FEMA and other agencies) will come to their rescue.

    Keep the coffee flowing, and hot (not like the tepid temp of McD coffee these days)!

    Thanks again for your service.

    • The Sgt. says:

      Thank you, David your so right. It is sad that many new Preppers seem to feel the need to explain or justify their actions. I just hope this post in some small way helps them to do that. Coffees always hot so come on by anytime. 🙂

  3. Jeffry says:

    One of the questions I have is about the long storage life foods that we all probably purchase. Folks like Mountain House package it in serving sizes like 29 servings or 32 servings and so forth. Would a serving for an entrée type item be considered 1 meal for 1 person? I usually purchase 1 container a month as its a little pricey but don’t know how to figure how long what I have might last. Any insight is appreciated.

    • The Sgt. says:

      Jeffry, I don’t know what the answer to your question is off the top of my head, but I will find out and post the answer here or better yet, do a post on it for tomorrow. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

    • Sgt.Mom says:

      I’ve bought products for several companies – I always look at calorie count. There are huge differences in “serving” sizes. That’s the easiest way for me to figure my food supplies. I tend to ignore # of servings and look at calories.

      • The Sgt. says:

        Sgt. Mom, That’s a great way to do it! After all, when it comes right down to it, The calories are what’s most important. I would still keep an eye to be sure you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need. A multivitamin is very useful for achieving this. Thanks for Sharing Sgt. Mom! 🙂

  4. Beaumont says:

    There used to be old, print books, made of this thing, called paper.

    There were hobbies, in which people created something — anything.

    It occurred to me, one day, that these are all useful, survival skills — every single one. I have never spent my time, learning about anything constructive, and not been a better person for it.

    When I read Scripture, there are analogies to farming, wildlife, and metalwork. I see that parables and allegories are written for these people.

    You are breaking bread with the demoralized person, incapable of abstract thinking, or of objective morality, saying this is my friend, and hoping to fix him.

    If you want to find likeminded people, catch someone in the act of doing something clever. Find someone with subtlety.

    But, the sticker is a target, outside of your community of interest, with all due respect.

    • The Sgt. says:

      Beaumont,

      I respect your opinion, but with all due respect, I disagree. The truth is that everything is a target outside of our community. The color of your hair, the color of your skin, your Race, and even your sex. The list goes on and on. When compared to these targets as you call them, being called a “Friend”, or a “Disaster Preparedness Specialist”, is no target at all. If someone wants to target you they will do so no matter what you do or say. I say that Family and good friends are worth keeping and if using this phrase helps to do that then it’s worth being a target.

      In any case, my friend, have a good day and thanks for stopping by for coffee. 🙂

  5. Dwight says:

    Would like to see more articles on Ham Radio – Thanks!

  6. Linda S says:

    I think “The Walking Dead” has done wonders for prepping. Haha I just tell my kids I’m getting ready for when the zombies come.

    • The Sgt. says:

      I have used that too before. LOL I also refer to those who are not prepared as the walking dead because they will walk looking for food until they die.

  7. Keith Davis says:

    Sarge, thanks for the interesting article. The terminology and examples that you use will, hopefully, encourage others to breach the subject of Prepping with their family and loved ones.

    I would also like to provide you and your readers a couple of other examples that I use when talking to other about “Prepping.”

    Rather than using the term “Disaster Preparedness” I use the less alarming term “Emergency Preparedness.” This term is used widely in Federal, State and Local Governments. It also allows the listener/reader to better “relate” to the issues being discussed. While everyone can relate to various “emergency” circumstances the average person may find it difficult to relate to the term “disaster” especially when they are asked for examples of disasters that they may encounter in their communities.

    One of the other ways that I explain “prepping” to the skeptical is to use the term “Contingency Plan.” I explain that, at all levels of Government, but especially in the military, Contingency Plans” are developed for almost every conceivable emergency or situation that may occur and that these plans are reviewed and updated at least once per year. I tie these Contingency Plans into various Public Service Advertisements (PSA) that are broadcast throughout the year. We’ve all seen one or more of these PSA’s where you’re advised to have a “fire plan” on how to escape a burning house, where to meet if the house is on fire and where to go for help once you have escaped the house. If you live in an earthquake area there are specific PSA’s that tell you how to prepare and what to do in the event of an earthquake.

    By using the proper terms and using PSA’s to provide examples of Emergency Preparedness it should make talking about prepping and encouraging others to begin prepping easier.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here in Texas, we really appreciate your information. I enjoy reading your site and look forward each day.

    • The Sgt. says:

      Thank you! It’s always great to hear from a reader that your still on the right path a writing what your readers want to hear. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  9. Porcupine says:

    I think that most of what is today called “prepping” could or would have been called “being a responsible adult” not too long ago. That said, I’ve been involved with a prepper group for a few months now and I’m starting to see why non-preppers think of preppers as mental patients. The thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of preppers (not just within my group) seem to spend a lot of time worrying about and prepping for things that are unlikely to occur (foreign invasion, global nuclear war, asteroid strike, etc) while ignoring things that happening right now (like the civil war in the US being waged by radical leftists).

    • The Sgt. says:

      Porcupine, Unfortunately, there are preppers who get so caught up in prepping that they keep needing to find more and more dramatic reasons to prep. That’s just how the world is. Our Nation faces a multitude of different dangers each and every day and it’s important to always keep your eyes on them as well. Prepping for the larger, less likely scenarios, is great, but you need to keep yourself grounded in reality as well. I agree with what you said, and they do sometimes settle down after a while. 🙂

  10. Fredi Shaffer says:

    I will be moving into motor home while downsizing within a month. I became more of a be prepared for disaster with naming a particular a couple of years ago and decided apocalypse just alarmed people. So things are stored in attic, under beds, in closets. Etc. Etc. Now those storage places are not going to be available. Will rent home base spot in trailer park for majority of living time and travel some to see family and friends as Income is pretty limited. So I can throw up a Sears storage building on site or maybe even rent a unit inside a building but cost will be factor. Any ideas on how to create storage in plain sight on limited income? Maybe even on public property? Would have access to family farm land with out buildings if SHTF came up but really not wanting to be in and out locked gates with farmers being so protective of their home sites…Just don’t want to impose. I don’t have a box to think inside of anymore so need to think outside the box at 61 years old with fair health..Just disabled due to broke my neck at c-1 diving with grandkids resulting in 5 years of watching that sickness and health vow get thrown away and realizing I am going to be alone in housing I can afford but still feel the need to continue prepping and not lose that piece of ground as well. Trying to connect to like minded people here in North Texas…South Oklahoma but apparently they are in deep camoflauge.

    • The Sgt. says:

      I can certainly appreciate your situation. I’m 62 myself. I’ve said it many times that the best way to meet other Preppers is to hang out at places that Preppers like. Places like the gun range or ham radio clubs. I would be surprised it there isn’t a Survival school in your area and they can usually help you make some connections. As far as where to store your preps, they won’t do you any good if you don’t have them with you when you need them. Fortunately, however, most motorhomes have a lot of hidden storage areas that most people don’t know about like under the beds and such. Depending on the design of your motor home, you may be able to store things in some of the cabinets behind doors which are screwed to and no one pays any attention too. You can always build a fake wall in front of an existing one to store items as well. Use your imagination and look in places like the area under your couch. Possibly on top of your motor home as well. Just get creative and maybe replace a little of your furniture with some that have hidden compartments. In the end, all you can do is the best you can. I would look at putting some items in a storage building where you have 24-hour access, I sure hope this helps and that is one of the nicer parts of Texas where your at I think. I love those rolling hills there. Have a good day my friend and stop by for coffee anytime. 🙂

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